||The William Faulkner Collection contains drafts and publishing proofs of Faulkner's
short stories, poetry, and scripts; correspondence; and material about the author
Cuthbert Faulkner originating from a variety of sources. The core of the collection
formed by the Dean Faulkner Mallard, Meta Rebner, and Carvel Collins collections of
and compiled as additional Faulkner-related works and material were acquired by the
Center. The collection is organized into four series: I. Works, II. Correspondence,
Faulkner-Personal, and IV. Works by Others.
||Series I. Works forms the bulk of the collection and is arranged into four subseries:
Novels, B. Poetry, C. Short Stories, and D. Scripts, Film Adaptations, Other Writings.
Novels subseries contains various incomplete fragments, drafts, galley proofs, and
proofs for nine of Faulkner's novels: Absalom, Absalom! (1936), As I Lay Dying (1930), The Hamlet (1940), Intruder in the Dust (1948),
Light in August (1932), The Mansion (1959), Pylon (1935), Sanctuary (1931), and Sartoris (1929). Of particular interest is the handwritten
manuscript for Absalom, Absalom! Due to its fragile condition,
photocopies have replaced the manuscript in the box and use of the original is restricted.
However, permission to access the original manuscript may be granted by special request.
Related to this novel is Faulkner's heavily hand-corrected galley proof for Absalom, Absalom! Also of interest is the original thermofax
typescript of The Mansion, sent by Faulkner to editor Albert
Erskine. These sheets have been sleeved in mylar and bound into volumes to aid in
long-term preservation. A complete photocopy version of the thermofax is also bound
available for use.
||Subseries B. Poetry is mostly comprised of typescript drafts of poems, some unpublished,
that Faulkner wrote in the early 1920s. Most of the typescripts were recovered from
fire which destroyed the Oxford, Mississippi, home of Faulkner's friend and patron
Stone, who wrote the introduction for and financed Faulkner's first published work,
collection, The Marble Faun (1924). As a result of the 1942
fire, the poems' paper has darkened and become very brittle, making them extremely
The poetry typescripts have varying levels of fire damage, making identification of
verse difficult. In order to stabilize, protect, and preserve the poems, conservators
lined and individually encapsulated the sheets.
||The collection was previously cataloged by poem title or by the first verse line if
poem's title was missing. Over time scholars have identified many of the drafts and
once-separated fragments have been reunited. The sheets frequently contain two identifying
numbers: the census number and/or the Sensibar number. The census identifier refers
Butterworth's "A Census of Manuscripts and Typescripts of William
Faulkner's Poetry" (Mississippi Quarterly, 26:3
[1973: Summer]) and the Sensibar identifier refers to Judith L. Sensibar's Faulkner's Poetry: A Bibliographical Guide to Texts and Criticism
(Ann Arbor, Michigan: UMI Press, 1988). The poems are arranged in alphabetical order
identified title or by first identifiable line verse. These poems have been cross-referenced
with the item number assigned by Sensibar, which is noted in the finding aid as [S#],
the # symbol corresponds to Sensibar's item number.
||Individual poems published in The Marble Faun (1924) and
A Green Bough (1933) are also present in the collection. Though the
poems in A Green Bough were originally titled with Roman
numerals, Butterworth and Sensibar identified them in their works by their known titles
which is how they are arranged in this collection. The folder titled "Michael / Orpheus / Vision in Spring"contains unidentified typescript pages that
bear thematic resemblance to and may be part of a sequence of unpublished poems called
Michael, or they may belong to, or be related to, the sequences titled Vision in Spring or Orpheus. The verso of some of these leafs contains Faulkner's 1921
handwritten review of Conrad Aiken's Turns and Movies, as well as
handwritten text that bears a close relationship to Vision in Spring (1921). This series also contains a corrected
typescript and galley proofs for Faulkner's 1933 poetry collection, A Green Bough.
||Subseries C. Short Stories contains drafts and proofs of short stories and short story
collections. As many of Faulkner's stories were reprinted in various Faulkner short
anthologies, including posthumous publications, the date listed in parentheses is
known publication date. Doctor Martino and Other Stories
(1934) was Faulkner's second short story collection and contained fourteen stories,
including "Black Music,""The Leg," and "Mountain Victory." Drafts of
these stories in this series bear a number written in orange crayon at the top of
which corresponds with the sequence in Doctor Martino and Other Stories
and appears to have been used for the draft of that collection. Faulkner wrote "The Wishing Tree" for his stepdaughter, Victoria Franking, in 1927,
and the collection contains an incomplete carbon typescript of this story.
||In 1925, Faulkner published a New Orleans sketch in The Double Dealer and an ongoing series of sketches he called "Mirrors of Chartres Street," published in the New Orleans Times-Picayune's Sunday magazine. This subseries contains a small
segment of drafts and a sample book binding for Mirrors of Chartres Street, a reprinted collection of these 1925
sketches published by the Faulkner Studies quarterly at
the University of Minnesota in 1953. Included are what appear to be selected original
and selected carbon typescripts typed and used by the editor of this 1953 collection.
Collins later reprinted these sketches in his William Faulkner: New Orleans Sketches (1958). Related to these
writings is a small volume titled Royal Street, New Orleans, which
is Faulkner's 1926 self-published, handwritten, and illustrated version of his sketch
"New Orleans," which was originally published in The Double Dealer in 1925.
||Subseries D. Scripts, Film Adaptations, Other Writings contains Faulkner's unproduced
screenplay Battle Cry (1943), as well as film adaptations written by other screenwriters
three of his novels. Of particular interest is the bound screenplay for The Story of Temple Drake (1933). It contains several
black-and-white photographs taken on the set of the film, as well as numerous photographs
the film's storyboards. Faulkner distributed the few handwritten and illustrated manuscripts
for his play, The Marionettes (1920), to his friends and members
of the drama group at the University of Mississippi. The collection contains two of
extant copies. Also contained in this series is a photocopy of Faulkner's June 8,
commencement address delivered to his daughter Jill's graduating class at Pine Manor
College in Wellesley, Massachusetts. The Atlantic published the
speech as "Faith or Fear" in its August 1953 issue. Titles
of works are listed in the Index of Works located at the end of this finding aid.
||Series II. Correspondence contains incoming, outgoing, and third-party letters and
arranged into three subseries: A. William Faulkner, B. Phil Stone, and C. Third-party.
Subseries A. William Faulkner consists primarily of Faulkner's outgoing correspondence
his family and his mistress, Meta Carpenter Rebner.
||The bulk of Faulkner's family letters are to his mother, Maud, though there are a
letters to his father, Murry, and one letter to his brother, Dean. The letters were
originally arranged chronologically and therefore correspond with specific periods
locations where Faulkner lived during his early life. The letters date from 1912 when
Faulkner lived in Oxford, Mississippi, to 1925 when he lived in New Orleans. The letters
also document Faulkner's period in New Haven, Connecticut; at Royal Air Force (RAF)
training in Canada in 1918; his return to New Haven; and his later move to New York
There are also letters Faulkner wrote while traveling in Paris, France. The letters
mostly handwritten, but many of the later ones are typed.
||The 1918 segment of letters describes Faulkner's first departure from home to visit
Stone in New Haven and his enlistment in the RAF. It was at this time that Faulkner
(originally spelled Falkner) began inserting the letter "u"
into his last name. Though his letters do not explain the change, the envelopes document
Faulkner's change as he goes from addressing the letters to his family as Falkner,
Faulkner, and back to Falkner. In his RAF letters, Faulkner describes his training,
quarantine resulting from the influenza outbreak, and his release from the RAF at
conclusion of World War I. Faulkner frequently added illustrations, such as a soldier
uniform, to his letters. The 1921 letters were written while Faulkner lived in New
New York City. He describes his visit with Stark Young and his life in New York City.
1925 New Orleans and Pascagoula letters describe Faulkner's associations with Sherwood
Elizabeth Anderson and William Spratling. He describes his writings for the Times-Picayune, the work he completed on his first novel, and his
social life in the French Quarter. In many of the letters, Faulkner frequently mentions
receiving cakes from his mother and his frequent requests asking her to send him certain
items or clothing.
||There are approximately forty letters dated from 1936 to 1960 from Faulkner to his
California mistress, Meta Carpenter Rebner. Most of the letters are typed, and in
letters Faulkner shares his romantic thoughts, details about his work and home life,
as his overall health. Of particular interest is an illustrated letter from June 1936
which Faulkner drew a comic strip depicting him and Rebner playing ping-pong, going
beach, and going to dinner while he was in California. In addition, enclosed with
1953 letter is a check from Rebner made payable to Faulkner in repayment of a loan
provided to her, which he has torn in half and returned to her.
||Subseries B. predominately contains third-party correspondence to and from Faulkner's
friend and representative Phil Stone, often on behalf of Faulkner and his publication
The Marble Faun. Subseries C. Third-party contains letters
associated with Faulkner, particularly from members of his family and Faulkner scholars.
Correspondent names are listed in the Index of Correspondents located at the end of
||Series III. Faulkner-Personal is comprised of documents related to or about William
Faulkner's life and work. The series is arranged in alphabetical order by item or
and includes contracts, a report card, a sketch, reviews, a small amount of papers
to Phil Stone, and similar documents. In this series is the complete publication file
mock-up for Casanova Press's 1932 limited edition printing of Salmagundi; this file contains correspondence about the volume's
production and costs, as well as cancelled checks endorsed by Faulkner and Ernest
Also included are two photocopy typescript excerpts associated with William Spratling.
is Faulkner's foreword to Sherwood Anderson and Other Famous
Creoles, which contained illustrations by Spratling. Second is Spratling's
foreword to "Chronicle of a Friendship: New Orleans in the
Twenties." Both of these works were printed (and in the case of Sherwood Anderson and Other Famous Creoles reprinted in facsimile)
in Texas Quarterly (Spring 1966) and both were subsequently reprinted
in book form by the Ransom Center (then called the Humanities Research Center) and
University of Texas Press in 1966. There are also ten photograph snapshots of Faulkner
Faulkner-related exhibit originally housed in a basic flip album, but removed for
||Series IV. Works by Others contains proofs or copies of Faulkner biographies written
Faulkner scholars. The series contains two works and is arranged in alphabetical order
author's last name.